Team Manager, DongFeng Race Team
Biography: Bruno Dubois is the son of a professional footballer who was born in Belgium in 1959 and lived there until the age of 18. As a boy he learned about elite sport, growing up in the home of a professional athlete. He started sailing in dinghies at the age of eight and by the time he did his National Service in Belgium he was racing with the Army Sailing Team. From then Bruno’s love of the sport developed as he travelled the world, crewing on cruising yachts. But at the age of 23 he realised that cruising wasn’t for him and entered the Mini-Transat alongside some of the world’s greatest sailors and subsequently won his class. Bruno’s career blossomed when his relationship with the Whitbread Round the World Race began when he was invited to represent Belgium as skipper of Rucanor Sport in the 1989-90 edition of the race. To complement his sailing skills Bruno also began working as a sail-maker and was hired by North Sails in 1991. Bruno worked first in Toronto where he became one of the company’s top salesmen in North America. In 1998 he moved to the headquarters of North Sails Europe in Copenhagen to develop sales for special projects. In 2000, Ib Ussing Andersen, CEO of North Sails Europe, asked Bruno to take over the management of North Sails in France. This was a major new challenge…… Bruno’s vision was to develop the company’s offshore sailing business. After 10 years at the helm, Bruno had increased sales by the French production loft to €14 million. He had also brought in a new generation of employees who are now running successful sails programmes for campaigns like Banque Populaire, Macif and Sodebo, plus the one-design sails for the Volvo Ocean Race. Bruno eventually became an Executive Committee Member on the board of North Sails Group and a Vice President at North Sails Europe. Taking time out from North Sails, Bruno took on the role of Director of Dongfeng Race Team (DFRT) in the 2014/15 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. Followed straight after in 2015 by the Groupama Team France America’s Cup challenge with skipper Franck Cammas….. and back again with Dongfeng Race Team for the 2017/18 VOR edition.. with a fantastic win on June 24th. A non-stop marathon searching for excellence! The fact that DFRT surprised many in the last race reflects Bruno’s ability to recruit, manage and motivate an international team of men and women, helping them to bond and to exceed their expectations. DFRT is a powerful, close-knit team with respect not only for sporting values but also for the oceans that it sails on. Bruno is one of a select band of people who understands the challenges of the Volvo Ocean Race and the wider sport of sailing both as a professional sailor and as a team manager. With his experience reaching right back to the Whitbread of 1989, Bruno has seen at first hand the race develop and evolve through maxis, to box rules and one-designs. He understands the values of the race, its unique place in the history of professional sailing and he is is committed to its successful future development.